Smaller businesses fail to prepare for disability legislation

Most
smaller businesses (SMEs) are unaware of new disability discrimination laws
coming in this autumn and risk employment tribunal action as a result.

According
to a survey by employment law firm, Peninsula, only 21 per cent of 1,500 SMEs
polled are aware of imminent amendments to the Disability Discrimination Act
(DDA).

For
the first time, businesses with fewer than 15 employees will be covered under
the DDA, making it unlawful for them to discriminate against a disabled person
when recruiting, promoting, firing or making employees redundant.

Despite
this, only 19 per cent of respondents said their workplace was disability
friendly and 64 per cent do not have plans to make the necessary adjustments to
comply with the legislation.  

The
majority (77 per cent) of those surveyed predicted a recruitment freeze or job
losses to cover the costs of implementing the new legislation.

By
Roisin Woolnough

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